On March 8, 2018, Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. of Ansan, South Korea, reported that the company along with its affiliate, Seoul Viosys Co., Ltd. (collectively “Seoul”) filed three new patent infringement complaints. The complaints were against a lighting firm and distributors selling products that allegedly infringe Seoul’s Acrich technology patents.
Among the three complaints, on March 2, Seoul filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the Texas Northern District federal court against Service Lighting Electrical Supplies, Inc. The complaint accused the company of infringing 10 patents linked to Acrich technology, and the complaint alleges that Service Lighting sells infringing LED bulbs in the popular online retail site 1000bulbs.com.
Also on March 2, Seoul filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Philcort T.V. & Electronic Leasing, Inc. in Nevada District Court. The complaint alleged infringement of eight Acrich patents.
Additionally, Seoul filed a new patent infringement lawsuit in California’s Central District Court against Archipelago Lighting, Inc., which claims that the company of infringed eight patents.
Seoul previously filed patent litigation in the same California federal court last September against Archipelago, alleging infringement of 12 patents. After initiating the first litigation, Seoul became aware of other products that it believes infringe on Acrich patents. This revelation led Seoul to file a second patent lawsuit against the same company.
In this series of patent lawsuits linked to Acrich technology, Seoul is targeting allegedly infringing LED lamps, including LED filament bulbs. And Seoul believes each of these companies is infringing at least one or more of 20 different patents related to its LED drivers for high-voltage operations and the company’s MJT (Multi-Junction Technology), as well as filament LED bulb structures, LED epitaxial growth, LED chip fabrication, and packaging, among other patented technologies.
According to Seoul, Acrich technology is required for LED products that feature high-voltage and high output operation that rely on only a small number of LED units. The company points out that in general lighting products, such as streetlights or filament LEDs that operate with more than 12V of power, Acrich technology has become increasingly popular. The company says its Acrich technology is also increasingly adopted for high-end televisions with UHD (Ultra High Definition) displays due to the ease of using Acrich technology to implement local dimming functions.
Seoul Also Launches Acrich Technology Licensing Program
Yong-Tae Lee, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, said, “Seoul will continue to enforce its IP against lighting and electrical companies, as well as their retailers, who manufacture or sell infringing products. But for those companies who wish to conduct business fairly and without infringing Seoul’s IP, we will soon be announcing a patent licensing program for Acrich technology.”
He explained that the new licensing program will offer reasonable terms to companies that want to produce and sell products incorporating Acrich technology for high voltage LED drivers, AC operation, and packages for high voltage operations.
He added, “We will do our best to encourage a fair-competition environment, in which young entrepreneurs and small entities can succeed in the business world, relying on fair competition in the market and respecting hard-earned patented technology. The end result will be that consumers can enjoy the benefits of Seoul’s research and investment in technology innovation.”